tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN March 20, 2014 12:30pm-2:31pm EDT
fulfilling, meaningful, legal careers without finding some way to make a difference, you know, to things a little bit bigger than themselves. >> now how important are mentors for a lawyer? >> well they have been really important in my life and i've been lucky enough to have them sort of every place i went. i mean i had them in law school. i had them, the two men i clerked for. and i had them when i was a young academic and when i was a young lawyer in practice, you know each step of the way, people to learn from and also people, you know, who make the next step and the next step and the next step a little bit easier. one of the things i did a few years after clerking i went to the university of chicago to teach. why did i get a job at the university of chicago? well, you know, partly it was my
resume' and my transcript and all of that stuff but partly it was judge miclin knew everybody in chicago. he had gone to university of chicago. he had deep and close connects there. he picked up the phone and talked to some people about me and, you know, i could say that about sort of everything i've gotten in my life. honestly i think most people can. the, you know, it is partly because of the hard work that you've put in and because of what you've accomplished but it is, it is partly because there, you know, other people whom you have run into along the way who were there to do a good turn for you and you hope you will be there to do a good turn for somebody else but, you know, i mean sort of said that way it can seem very self-serving, like go, find mentors so they can help you but you know in truth we all help each other and
thinking about, thinking as you go through especially the early years of a legal career, the people you're connecting with and, and, you know, how you can learn from them but also thinking a little bit about how they can help you make your way i think is a pretty valuable thing. >> all right. i think, you know, i think that's a very important point, you know, particularly when people start law school, the reason why everybody gets admitted to georgetown, they're incredibly smart. they did very, very well academically and so there's tendency to focus on just kind of pure intelligence as the key to success in a career but, you know, finding mentors, people you can learn from. >> including by the way your peers. i used to think about this when i was dean at the law school because as you just said i think a lot of people come to law school and they're very good students and they continue to really focus on that part and of
course you should. you should, you know, work hard but i always pelt that when you looked at the law school and everybody just sort of putting their heads in a book and then you compared to what went on at the business school where everybody was really focused on making connections and there's something a little bit like icky about like, all this focus on just, you know, making connections so that, you know, you can help this person and that person can help but but there's something that's great about it. it sort of acknowledges that you're not going to be just an individual in your legal career. you're going to be part of teams, part of institutions, part of collectives and and the connections you make with all the people thaw work with, all the people you study with when you're a student are of really deep significance in somebody's
career. >> and there are also, you know, they're also personally very affirming. >> absolutely. >> one of the things that you've done also in your career that i find really striking is promoting collegiality an encouraging people to work together. i mean i think that, you know, when i look back at what you did at harvard law school, you know, what you did was you really made the faculty, at least from the outside, feel like a community in a way which it hadn't before. and certainly a lot of the press accounts indicate that the trajectory you're on in the court, you know, is similarly about team building in a way that, you know, when i think about justices across history who really been about getting people to, you know, think together. chief justice warren, justice brennan.
now that is something we don't normally teach in law school. how did you, how do you learn to get people to work together and how do you build teams? >> well i make no claims for anything on the court. still very young there. i'm still pretty new and i'm still finding my way i'm sure but i did take some degree of pride in this at the law school and you're extraordinary at it, dean treanor. i think it is part of what makes a good dean is, listening to people and getting them to focus on the institution as a whole and how they can contribute to the institution as a whole and how they can work together with other people rather than just sort of go their separate way, or even worse, fight with everybody which was often the case at harvard in some parts of its history.
but you know, i love thinking actually about institutions and how they operate, how they work and how you can get people to work together in them and, and make them succeed in way that is you didn't think you could and it's a little bit trial and error and i really think i did have to, i don't think it came very naturally to me. i think it was something that i had to learn and think hard about. i think it involves really listening to other people and doing a lot more listening than talking often in order to exercise leadership and in order to move an institution. if there was anything i was proud of at harvard other than the free coffee, which i recommend that you get that donor for. it was probably that.
>> it is really remarkable, harvard, it seemed like there was a period in wit faculty was really deadlocked. so there was no very little new faculty hiring. then you came in and really transformed the law school in a very short period of time. there was curriculum reform and tremendous wave of faculty hiring. is there anything specific that people can think about listening trying to get people to see across differences? >> you know, listening trying to get people to see across differences. picking out people who will help you because you you can't do it on your own. so you need people who will join in with this endeavor with you and help you achieve it. i was lucky enough to have a bunch of great people doing that just trying to figure out, you
know, some people are, just trying to figure out what makes an institution click. what makes it work. the personal dienomics within an institution. -- dynamics. using that knowledge to figure out how you can move and change and shift a place. >> it's a little bit different but one of the things you did i find very striking the concern the senate had about the fact that you had no knowledge about hunting and guns and the way you responded to that. i think it is refreshing. >> you want me to tell the story? >> i think it's a great story. i have to say there were several people and i was talking to people before what they wanted to hear. a number of people wanted to hear the hunting story. >> okay. they haven't heard the hunting story already? >> a couple have. i think everybody should. >> well the thing you have to understand is that when you go through the senate confirmation, at least for me, as somebody who was nominated by a democratic president, who had worked in the
domestic policy council on another president involving issues like gun control. i grew up in new york city. we didn't go hunting on the weekend there. >> it was discouraged. >> we went to the ballet, you know? so i did not, but everybody is very concerned in the senate. democrats and republicans alike about second amendment issues. so as i would go from office to office everybody, everybody thinks oh, the hot issues the ones you will be asked about by everybody are like abortion. i would say, second amendment, guns, totally eclipsed everything else combined. and i didn't have all that much to say. you can't talk about the substantively. you can't say i will rule this way or i will rule that way. people asked me, well, have you ever hunted? do you know anybody who hunts?
do you own a gun? have you ever touch ad gun? have you ever seen a gun you know? [laughter] my answers were, actually pretty, pretty poor on this front. and so, so i was once, it was late in the day. i had been through a lot of these interviews. i was a little bit tired of them, tell you the truth. i was sitting with one of the senators from idaho. he started asking me these questions and telling me as is appropriate, how, you know, for many of his constituents hunting was an extraordinarily important activity, part of the culture and how he you know, didn't have any confidence that i would understand this in the way i thought about these issues. and i said to him, i said, you know, senator, i said, you know i never had an opportunity to go hunting, it is not where i grew up and what i, what, but i said, senator, if you would like to
invite me hunting, because he had been talking about his ranch and what he hunted on his ranch. if you would like to invite me hunting i would really be glad to go. and this look of abject horror passed -- [laughter] passed across his face you know? i realized i probably went a little bit too far. and i said, i'm sorry, i said i really didn't mean to go that far. i tell you what, senator. i make that promise, if i'm lucky enough to be confirmed i will ask justice scalia to take me hunting. because i knew justice scalia was a great lover of hunting and a great hunter. when i got to the court, first summer i wouldn't to justice scalia and told him the story. this is the only promise i made in 82 courtesy visits, you know? are you going to help me fulfill this promise? he loved it. he thought it was hilarious.
he was laughing, laughing, laughing. sew he said. all right. first he took me to, he is a member of a gun club out in virginia. he took me to his gun club with one of his sons in law who was a great shooter and we, he thought me to shoot. and, then we shot some birds. we went, he has this group of buddies he goes quail shooting and pheasant shooting with. so we did that a few times. then at the end of the year he said, all right, time to do big game. so we each got ourselves a deer license and an antelope license. we went out to wyoming together. >> oh, my god. >> yeah. i shot a deer. we could not find any antelope. and, according to him we found the wrong kind of deer. he says that the deer i shot, i could have gotten in his backyard. [laughter] but you know, it seemed like a deer to me.
so, and next year he is taking me turkey shooting, which he says is the best kind of hunting. so it turns out it is sort of fun actually, you know? [laughter] i don't know. was that story supposed to show anything? [laughter] >> such a good story. doesn't really matter. but i think -- >> okay. >> reflects idea of where people are. senator's question about buns. i'm from new york metropolitan area. that's not what we did. i have to say, it is like when my family is here, when we had a family vacation last year, we were driving through the southwest -- [inaudible] all alone. just -- [inaudible]
so -- [inaudible] >> well, i hope so. because, everybody has different experiences and the ability to sort of learn from everybody else's experiences as well as from your -- just can't take you anywhere, can we? [laughter] [applause] >> that is one of the takeaway points. [laughter] so, another question. you really, you are such a terrific writer and i have to say i -- >> i'm going to come back if you keep on telling me all the things i'm good at. i can tell you all the things i'm not so good at, you know. >> i have to say your opinions are really a joy to read and i think they're, they're different from anyone else's on the court.
and, so, you know, one of the things that as graduate are going to be doing, they're going to be writing in a range of different contexts and i wanted to see if you had any advice for them as writers? >> mostly it toys work hard at your writing and to try to find your voice. for me it took many, many years. thank you for saying the nice things about my writing. i'm sure i can get to be a better writer. the reason i'm sure of that because i have gotten to be a better writer. is, if i look back at the writing that i did when i was in law school, i think, you know, i didn't write the same way that i do now. and partly, i have just gotten to abettor writer and partly i've found a kind of a distinctive and individual voice which actually i think, if i had tried at the age of 2, i don't, i don't, you know, i probably shouldn't have tried at the age of 27.
i do think writing well for most people takes enormous amount of hard work. i think the number of people who can sit down and produce perfect paragraphs in an instant are like, i never met them. maybe there is one or two. including one or two of the people i work with now. but i think for most people. and even most really great writers. they are great because they spend the time that it takes to produce great writing, which is a lot of time. which is, you know, staring at a paragraph and just asking yourself over and over, how to make that paragraph better. and, so, so i think writing matters. i think writing matters at terrific amount in the law. certainly, if you're going to be an appellate lawyer, that is mostly the way we decide our cases. you know, we do all this argument stuff but it's a little bit for show. that really the most important thing is to write us a good brief and, and some people are
better at it than eithers. i do think part of the reason that some people are better at it than others, just some people understand that you have to work and work and work and work at it. and that there is no such thing as turning in the first draft. >> but you're, you also have a really distinctive voice. i think you're, your opinions, if you read your opinion, you're not saying, oh, this is justice scalia or justice kennedy's, it is distinctively yours. how did you come up with that voice? again, you're, you know, it is not that you were a judge before and you had evolved a voice while you were an appellate court judge. how did you come up with a voice that you have on the court? i mean i think, in some sense, i think justice scalia has a distinctive voice. justice, going through history, justice holmes, justice jackson. it is really unusual to have
such a distinctive voice. >> i'm i'm not sure exactly how unusual it is. i'm sure if you gave me a whole pile of opinions with the names crossed off of them but knowing they were all produced by members of the court now, i suspect i could do pretty well in saying which was whose. so i'm not sure, i don't think that is quite as unusual as you're saying, but, i don't know i'll tell you the way i write an opinion and what i, which has a lot to do with my being a teacher. i sort of think about writing opinions in the way i to think about teaching classes. in other words i used to sit down at my computer and i used to say, how am i going to explain this really complicated body of law to a bunch of people, a bunch of first years or even 30-years who don't -- third-years who don't know all that much.
the law is complicated and the ability to explain law clearly, succinctly and well the ways people understand at the moment, even more than that in way that is people remember. so in way that is stick with people. is a really, it is one of the great challenges of teaching. so i used to sort of sit down and think about, okay, i say this. then i say this. how to order all the different points to really get people to see your, that the logic of something. and, and how to use analogyies and examples to give people a sense of, sense of why the reasoning goes the way it does. and that's what i do now too. i mean i basically do the same things that i used to do when i preparing to each a class, trying to figure out how to explain something to a group of people who didn't know about it and trying to explain it in a
way that would be sticky, that would really sit in their heads, that i kind of do the same thing now when i plot out an opinion. >> and then how do you use the clerks? >> well, clerks are really important. honestly the, so it is a little bit frustrating for being a clear to me to tell you the truth. it is frustrating i ask them to write first drafts. some judges, a few judges, look, it will be my stuff so i'm going to sit down and write my stuff. so i ask the clerks to write a first draft. the reason i say it's a little bit frustrating, i tell them i will ask you to write a first draft and you will not see a single word of it in opinion i produce. for me it is helpful. of for me it is helpful to look at the way somebody else thinks through a topic even if it is really like, i sort of see why they did that but like, what's
the point? [laughter] but it's help if you recall for me to use as a use as launching pad. i see what ideas work, what ideas don't work. i think about the organization and progress of arguments that they have used, the things that they have picked to talk about and to respond to. for me it gives me a kind of a launchpad, to think through a case on my own. but then, for me, and i think there are two reasons for this, i mean the first is just, i'm one of these people that don't know what they think until they see what they say. that for me this sort of writing through a problem is the way i learn a problem and i, countless times, pretty much every time, in the writing, i discover all kind of things i didn't know and would never have learned about an issue unless i had really started from scratch. and then the second thing is, i
want to say if my opinions sound like me, that's a good thing. i want my opinions to sound like me. so it's important for me to have, you know, my own voice and that's another reason why i start from scratch. the drafts help me to think about something. they sort of provide launchpad for me. they obviously give me a lot of citations and things like that i can use. then what i do,, where my clerks are unbelievably important i give it back to them. here's my take. and i encourage them to edit me really super hard. and clerks, sometimes they start out they are a little bit nervous doing this you're a supreme court justice, you're not. [laughter]
but i mean, value after clerk is how hard she edits me. because nobody writes perfectly the first time out. i write slowly, but even by the end, i write slowly and very deliberately and i think about everything. even then by the end there are some things that can be improved on and, so i give it back to my clerks first the one who gave me a draft. she will do an edit. i will turn it around again. i give to my other three as well. those people probably don't know the subject matter quite as well. so they come at it with a little bit fresh eyes and way a normal reader would come at it. all three of them he had it. -- he had it. and i ask the clerk on the case to compile all three edits and her take on which things to do and which things not to do. very small things, and change a word to big things. this argument really doesn't
work. go rethink it. and that is the most important part of the process for me. jon: then on the other end you talked a little bit about significance of the briefs. what is the key to an effective brief? >> well clarity for sure. and the worst kind of a brief is a brief that you have to struggle when you're reading it what's the point here? i don't get it. so you want something that is crystal clear. and, you, and, then, you know, i think the ability to speak in kind of a commonsensical terms. here is what at issue. here is why you should care about this. here is why you this has got to be the right answer. and the ability to sort of put it all together. to speak thematically. there will obviously be a lot of micro points you have to make along the way but to have a single theory of the case and that have theory appeal to somebody's, sort of base common
sense about how this, this has got to be the right answer if the law's going to make any sense. >> so it is not just about kind of saying this is the way the precedent lines up? >> you know, it is partly that and i'm sure it's more that in lower courts but one of the things about the supreme court is that, as people often learn when they stand at the podium and they say well the sixth circuit said. and somebody will say, why do we care about what the sixth circuit said? we only care about what we said. and sometimes we don't even care about that all that much, you know? >> so, and what makes something appealing in terms of common sense? is that kind of an open question? >> that is too hard to do because it is very case specific. >> what about appellate what about oral arguments? what makes a good oral argument? >> well, you know, somebody, who
i think some of it is the same. it's the ability to know the three points you really want the court to to get, to be able to picked those three points. but, and to leave the court with that sense, i'm not leaving this podium until you absolutely know these three things about my case which is going to make you think that of course i have to win. but, but you have to be able to do that and at the same time have a conversation a conversation with the court about whatever the court has a conversation about. the person who is just hammering home his three points is not nearly as effective as somebody who manages to convey them but also completely engages with the justices on what their questions are. the most effective people are people who do that in a very natural and relaxed kind of a way. we are really having a relaxed conversation but who are very good listeners, who completely
understand what a justice is getting at in his or her question and, and, respond to it very quickly. and you have to be quick at the supreme court because, most of us ask a lot of questions. and so somebody will get up there at the podium and it will be sort of ratatata, basically you have only three sentences to answer any given question. you can't be the kind of person who spends a while clearing her throat, you know, before you get to the main point. you have to have the main point really on the tip of your tongue and that involves an extraordinary amount of preparation, right? i guess, you know, if i sound like i talk a lot, whether it is about writing or oral advocacy about, you know, you just have to work at it and it is the same thing here. i mean the people who are freight, who come to the court are people who you know have spent hours and hours and hours thinking about every single question that is going to be
thrown at them and thinking about what the two sentence way to answer each of those questions is. >> so thinking through kind of every angle of the case, every possible question -- >> every possible question that the answer you're going to make to that question. and we're really lucky. i mean we have an extraordinary nomograph -- number of great lawyers that appear before us. they have all different styles. there is no single style. i was once on a plane with two of the greats. the now judge and paul clement and we were all together at the sixth circuit conference and our plane was delayed. we were all in each other's company for many hours at the airport and we were talking about different arguments styles and paul clement said, that sri, he, he says, there were people who, who heat up the room from a podium and people who cool it
down and paul said, he was a heater upper, which he is sort of is. there is kind of a tremendous energy comes from when paul clement steps to the podium. kind of just like, he is a very mesmerizing speaker and there is sort of energy in the room. and then judge vasi, when he used to argue he is like, you know, he calms it down. he is like everybody's reasonable man. how could you, how could you possibly disagree with i'm saying in such a calm and cool way, you know? [laughter] and they're both just tremendous but, very different in style and probably those styles reflect their personalities and, you can't turn yourself into a person you're not but, you don't have to because there are lots of different ways to be great. jon: how important is oral argument? >> it is not all that important. [laughter] i mean it's, sometimes it is. it is not it never decides a case. sometimes it does. sometimes i will go in and i really will be on a knife's edge
before he gets to speak and there are some very good things. definitely a lot better. but the one bad thing is there are a lot of votes before you ever get to say anything and so for me there is a sort of distinctive case or something i'd really want mireally want mo think about that i think for whatever reason they might not have focused on i will try to use arguments as they opportunity to do that. >> so you bring out a certain angle on the case. >> sometimes but not every time. i am asking questions i want to know the answers to. but sometimes i am asking
questions to try to convey certain points to my colleagues and i think all of us do that to some degree. >> i know it's not the tradition but would it be better if people talked before the order of argument? >> i could see why it might be. i think it can work either way. >> one of the things that's very striking about your career, you talk about being open to different opportunities and that it makes sense to be opened rather than to say this is what i'm going to do at 35, this is what i'm going to do at 50. and you have had kind of a series of very important jobs, very high state. how do you prepare for them as the dean of the law school or the solicitor general for the justice of the supreme court held do you prepare for the new
challenges? >> we talk about what's involved and you know you're not going to get it right the first day out. then i was made solicitor general and never argued a case in front of the supreme court in fact i never argued a case before any appellate court and if you ask me the moment in my life when i was most nervous and most insecure about whether i was going to have the necessary come everything necessary to succeed in the job, i would say it was a backdrop. and i just talked to an enormous number of people, pretty much every solicitor general who were incredibly generous with their time to talk to me about how the office works, a lot of different things that have nothing to do with actually arguing the cases
thabut that go into being a successful solicitor general and about arguing. and in terms of my argument, i spent a lot of time with my colleagues especially in my first argument with citizens united was kind of a big argument. [laughter] the only saving grace is everybody said well you know you're going to lose because in the argument courts would've signaled which way it was going to go so i didn't think of the campaign finance was rushed in on me and have a whole what to do with the case. but i knew everybody was going to be focused on it. all o of the deputy solicitors general who have this incredible
experience each of them has done 75 or 100 oral arguments themselves and some of the assistance as well to talk about what they thought made for a successful argument in the case, talked about arguing generally cannot talked about the case in particular. when you go into something that is new to you just reaching out to all these people that know better what's involved and not being afraid to say help me is a really important thing. >> did you talk to the other justices? how do you prepare such a unique job? >> a little bit less so. one of the things that struck me when i got on the court i was struck by the fact you are one
of us. in some ways the court is very seniority focused that we do everything in order of seniority but some ways from the day that you get on everybody just sort of assumes you know as much as i know and it is quite clearly not so but it's a lovely part of the institution that everybody treats you from the first moment that you are there as a full and equal member of the institution and sort of pretend that you know as much as they do. and to the extent that you go in and ask somebody for advice, the first in the nation you don't need my advice. just do what you think. and then you sort of have to push them a little bit.
>> did you have a supreme court justice of the past? because of my personal connection with thurgood marshall and that is important to me i'm a huge fan. i think that he was the greatest writer ever to serve on the supreme court and i think that he was a very deeply by his human being. i love the way that justice jackson writes and i loved his sort of practical and common sense institutional approach to the law. those are ie favorites. we are running ahead of time. the two final questions. is there anything that you didn't know when you graduated law school that you wish you had
known. >> what is your answer? >> the team work is huge. it was all about how smart you were and it's about doing it your self, so i think that's one thing i've learned over the years. >> it helps to be smart on all that but it is so much about how you get along with people and it's so much about your emotional intelligence as well as the iq and that is true in pretty much every single child even the ones you think of as more about the brilliance than anything else. it turns out that is not it at all. it's all about how well if you listen to people, how well you
work with people and cooperate with people, how much you can put your energy together with fares to do something that neither could have done on your own. >> as people are getting ready to graduate is there a piece of advice? >> can i say again what is your piece of advice and then i will just agree with it again? >> to go back to what you said earlier, beating up being open o opportunities, so you know, i would say one thing i think is important that we always stress is to have some goals the things you want to achieve and keep those in mind. but at the same time, life isn't
planned. things happen that you cannot anticipate. it's important to be open to them. not to think the job that you have in 28 is the best that you are going to retire from. >> it is especially now. but i think for many decades is one of the great things about a lawyer's career that you can move from one thing to another and experience and experiencingf different kind of work in your life and the ability to recognize that life is wrong and that there are lots of different opportunities that are going to present themselves to you and get you a sort of freedom to think about your career. and i guess the other thing is that in thinking about that, just to reflect on the changes over the course of somebody's life but to reflect on what
fills you with a sense of meaning and purpose and value i think mostly the lowly years who are happy are those that find a way to accomplish something for people outside of themselves. and what that is is going to very enormously from person-to-person. but to think about the kind of work that you do that because of the way that it makes a difference in the world is going to fill you with a sense of mission accomplished during the day something that you cared about is i think the most important thing and making people really happy to go to work every day. >> that is a fabulous way to e end. >> i am going to give you this
which i hope will not drop along the way. but this is as people are about to embark on a great journey as lawyers and you have incredible opportunity and i think the upper trinity to sit down and to hear the kind of career that you have had, justice kagan come and been so many different things. and to go back to the last point and so many profound ways and really made this world is such a better place it is a privilege for all of us and i would like to present you with this plaque of the inaugural lecture to the inaugural class i would like to thank you for being here and i would like to lead everyone in a round of applause for the justice elena kagan. [applause]
>> i hope you'll join us. we are going to have a reception in the health and fitness space. but again, thank you very much, justice. >> before leaving for florida president obama spoke on the south lawn of the white house about ukraine. here is what he had to say. >> good morning, everybody. i wanted to provide an update on the situation in ukraine and the steps the united states is taking in response. over the last several days we have continued to be deeply concerned about events in ukraine.
we have seen an illegal referendum in crimea, and ill legitimate move by the russians who annexed crimea and dangerous risks of escalation including threats to ukrainian personnel in crimea and threats to southern and eastern ukraine as well. these are all choices that the russian government has made. the choices that have been rejected by the international community as well as the government of ukraine. and because of these traces, the united states is today moving as we said we would to pose additional costs on russia. based on the executive order that i signed in response to the initial intervention in ukraine, we are imposing the sanctions on more senior officials of the russian government. in addition, today we are sanctioning a number of other individuals with substantial resources and influence to provide material support to the russian leadership.
as well as the bank that provides material support to these individuals. now, we are taking these steps as part of the response to what russia has already done in crimea. at the same time the world is watching with grave concerns in a way that could lead to further incursions into southern and eastern ukraine. for this reason we have been working closely with our european partners to develop more severe actions that could be taken if russia continues to escalate the situation. as a part of the process, i find a new executive order today that gives us the authority to impose sanctions not just on individuals but on ke the key sectors of the russian economy. this is not our preferred outcome. the sanctions would probably have a significant impact on the russian economy but could also be disruptive to the global economy. however, russia must know that further escalation will only
isolate this further from the international community. the basic principles that the government relationgovernment re nations in europe and around the world is to be upheld in the 21st century. that includes respect for sovereignty of the territorial integrity. the notion that the nations do not redraw the borders or make decisions that they have spent for their neighbors simply because they are larger and more powerful. the persistence to the government of ukraine so they can see licensed economy and to meet basic needs of the ukrainian people. as i travel to europe next week to meet with the g-7 and other nations and allies i once again urge congress to pass legislation that is necessary to provide this assistance and to do it right away. the support is not enough. we need action. i also hope the imf is to provide a package of support for ukrainians as they pursue
reforms. in europe i will be reinforcing the message to vice president biden in the states this week. america's support for the nato allies is unwavering. we are found together by our profound article five amendments to defend one another and the shared values into so many generations sacrificed for. we've already increased our support for the eastern european allies and we will continue to strengthen nato's collective defense and to step up our cooperation with europe on the economic and energy issues as well. let me close by making a final point. the diplomacy between the united states and russia continues. we've emphasized that russia still has a different path. one dot d. escalates the situation and one that involves russia pursuing a diplomatic solution with the government in
speed 11 with the support of the international community. the russian people need to know, and mr. putin needs to understand that the ukrainians shouldn't have to choose between the west and russia. we want the ukrainian people to determine their own destiny. and to have good relations with the united states, russia, europe, with anyone that they choose. that can only happen if russia also recognizes the rights of all of the ukrainian people to determine their future as free individuals. and as a sovereign nation. rights that people and nations around the world understand and support. thank you very much everybody. >> [inaudible] >> thank you.
>> the president from earlier today. he's now heading to orlando florida to give a speech on women and the economy. his comments at valencia college at 2:30 eastern utopia built to watch on c-span. microsoft cofounder bill gates talks about the foundation and his belief by 2035 there will be fewer than ten poor countries because of expanding prosperity. he was interviewed earlier this month at the american enterprise institute where he talked about poverty, global health issues and the education system. here's a look at that event. >> you offer an incredibly bold predictions. you say that there will be almost no poor countries remaining by the year 2035. what do you mean by that? >> the primary measure which has all sorts of challenges in gdp per person is still -- we don't
have a substantive measure. so if you take that world bank codifies countries with over 1200 per person per year as moving up into a middle income bracket, so moving from low income to middle income. and we have today 45 countries that are still in the low income category. and what im saying is that by 2035, there should be less than ten and mostly places like north korea where you have a political system that basically creates poverty or land lock applicant countries where the geography, disparate estimates of these mean they haven't been able to bring together a government in terms of education infrastructure and how the most minimal things for that.
and so on this rising tide does not recognize and it is overwhelming how prosperity is spread around the world from 1960 where there were very few rich countries and the gigantic number of poor countries now most are middle income countries. and some countries are much smaller. just seeing they will all move up past the threshold doesn't mean they won't have poor people in the countries and the governments will be fantastic, but ther it will be a lot betten average than it is today.
today's young adults to so-called millennial generatione so-called millennial generation who are having a lot of trouble getting started in ice because they come of age in a hostile economy are paying money into a system to support a level of benefits for today's retirees that they have no chance of getting when they themselves retire. so there needs to be a rebalancing of the social compact. it's a very important challenge and a very difficult challenge for the country politically because not only is social security and medicare have of the budget but it's by far the biggest thing we do. but it is symbolically the purest statement in public policy that is as a country we are a community all in this together. these are programs that affect
everybody, and the programs don't work. >> coming up next on c-span2 dot schieffer of cbs news moderated discussion on russia day after the country annexed crimea from ukraine. the former national security adviser to presidents carter and briscoe kroft that served in the same position for resident gerald ford and george h. w.
bush take part in this event. the center for strategic and international studies hosted yesterday's event. >> thank you all for coming. and just to get this going, we are going to talk about russia obviously with two man i'm proud of today are not just longtime friends, but at various times over the 45 years that i've been in washington committee has been very good sources. [laughter] sometimes on the record, sometimes maybe not. general scowcroft and doctor brezinski, columnist and author i greatly admire roger of "the new york times." this audience is certainly going to need no introduction for any of them but in case there is a visitor from mars what they say doctor brezinski is a former u.s. national security adviser to president jimmy carter, counselor and trusty of csis at
the johns hopkins served as the state department and many other prestigious foreign policy positions. general scowcroft also former national security adviser and served with president ford and george h. w. bush. he is a counselor and trusty here at csis and as a military assistant and was the deputy assistant national security affairs during the ford and nixon administration and holds the freedom and 93 queen elizabeth made him an honor a night of thinlight of the britid roger cohen has been a responded for more than a decade at "the new york times" and was the editor at times and now writes a column for the times and is the author of several books on foreign-policy and also
biography of norman schwarzkopf. it's hard to know where to start this discussion, but i guess let me just start with this question is this the new cold war and why don't we start with you, doctor brezinski. >> well obviously we don't know for sure but it's beginning to look that way. it may not end up that way but it's beginning to look that way. and if i can just take two minutes, i would like to do something that most of the people here have not done. it's worth reading the speech in full and what is worrisome and relevant to your question is what he says about ukraine more generally. and in that speech, he says among other things that ukraine, he said that ukraine benefited from the bus bolshevik revolutin
from russia so in effect ukraine's territory. then he goes on to say that when president putin out of ukraine asked that it be limited, russia agreed to it as a favor on the assumption that ukraine would remain our good neighbor. however, this is not how the situation developed. he also goes onto say in the same speech it is also obvious that there is no legitimate executive authority in ukraine now. that's another strange thing to be saying that a neighboring country. he assures us in that speech that russian armed forces never entered crimea which is kind of curious because we have the impression that somebody did. and then he goes on to say that
we understand that our western partners prefer not to be guided by international law in the practical policies but by the rule of the gun. and we understand that what is happening is that these actions are aimed against ukraine and russia and against it he integration and he also adds let me conclude that we have already heard declarations from kiev about ukraine's soon joining nato. let me say quite frankly that it pains our heart to see what is happening in ukraine at the moment. see the people suffering and their uncertainty about how to get through the day. our concerns are understandable because we are not simply close neighbors, but as i have said many times, dr one people. now what is that telling you?
it suggests that if things don't get done under control we may be seeing the next phase which is an attempt to create the one state. >> i think this is a speech that deals allegedly with crimea that lays out the claim it can be asserted if things unfold that provide opportunities and of course that pertains particularly to territory alleges that ukraine but in fact also kiev itself. >> so, general back to the question is this the beginning and do we have the same interpretation of the speech? >> minus not an interpretation. [laughter] i think this is not a return to
the cold war. i can get a different character. we have had a scratchy relationship with russia since the cold war ended. and i think that will continue. but the cold war i think was pretty generous, and it evil philosophies about the world and struggled for men's mind this isn't that kind of thing. this is much more practical. i think what was very interesting because if there's anything that makes confusing reading it's the history of ukraine and russia. the first state of russia as its
capital in kiev in the tenth century and they were driven out into the forest from asia who didn't like treaties and go after them, so since then there's been a different relationship with ukraine than almost any other part of russia or the soviet union. so, i would say this is new. i think some of the things that zbig has spread -- i've learned a lot about putin and what he said in the last few days and in this sense, he's a different
person, a very different person from gorbachev or khrushchev. and he has the outlook of someone who was kgb and whose all the soviet union collapsed. and he is a person full of them and because he talked of that collapse taken by the west or certainly by the united states to humiliate russia were to take advantage of russia. as a matter of fact he said when we were flat on our backs at the end of the cold war, you walk all over us because you could. you denounced the treaty. you pushed the borders right up
and into the former soviet union because you could. now we are strong again and you can't push us around anymore. so there is that it goes through it all. but i think to say that this is a new cold war we could make it one. but i don't think it is going in that direction. >> i agree with the general spoke rocked that in this instance you don't have these ideological conflict that you had during the cold war. on the other hand, i think that we should have taken president putin a lot more seriously when he described the breakup of the soviet union as the greatest catastrophe of the 20th century. that is a pretty memorable phrase to cause it was so extraordinary and unbelievable i think many of us tended to laugh that way but what we are seeing now is president putin is absolutely serious about
re-creating the soviet space and looking at it from the perspective of what's happened in crimea, we can view the events in georgia in 2008 as a kind of precursor. let's see if the worst react. if i recognize some of the city and in that case they did not annex and we have to go back with what it looks like that we might be able to treat russia as a normal country and there's been this idea, this dream of a european space and stretching where we could build a free and liberal society on the western n model. that this man, president putin doesn't want that. he is spent on something else.
he is bent ohe's bent on proposn alternative civilization if you like. we have a highly combustible situation. i agree. this could be just the first move in ukraine, but much more dangerous is the fact that there are russian speakers in 20 of other states surrounding russia. notably estonia and latvia. if anything begins to stir up we are in a territory of courseware article five guys and attack and any member would be considered an attack on all. so we are definitely into new territory. i don't think that we are into a new cold war, but we are in new territory where we have to recognize that in moscow right now we have an adversary. we do not have a potential partner. >> doctor brezinski, what could
or should we do now? >> i think we have to be concerned about what follows that has happened. and in the speech he has laid out a case that could be used for certain force directed against ukraine and see how it reacts. and then what happens t is supposed a breakout and what choices do we have how can we react? i think that we've often try to anticipate that possibility and to consider it seriously. one way to anticipate it is to still try to somehow or another can they do that it is not our intent to seduce ukraine and georgia into nato and turn it into a state that is openly hostile to russia and work to wk together in consolidating the recovery of ukraine economically and otherwise because russia
also has an interest in it and so do we. we will do it jointly and of course the ukraine has a right to be european and spirit but it's not going to be a member of the eu for years and we can reassure you it will not be a member of nato. but at the same time we have to convey our concern that those words spoken by putin about ukraine are terribly reminiscent of what hitler was saying that was then followed by the rest of the history and that could be very serious. either we are in the face of an explosion or maybe the ukrainians will fall apart and will be a repetition of what happened in crimea so we also have to talk about the ukrainians to their response and
what steps they are taking to make sure the state remains viable and be willing to assist them if they are determined. so an accommodation is possible, deterrence of the conflict is necessary that i wouldn't treat itreatthis lightly. i think there is a spirit in his speech which is vengeful and triumphant at the same time and connected as was said to the notion of a new union which actually is just a new name for a very old ndp come in entire with a capital in moscow and that is not real in terms of the modern age. that is why a good friend of the russians and former secretary to the communist party now the president of kazakhstan is issuing warnings about the possibility of a threat to the independence of states in the region and so were some of the
others. i think these are possible dangers with consequences that could be either explosive. i can't permit that could certainly collective dangers. >> do you think the sanctions that the united states announced have they had any impact on >> i think that we have done about the minimum that we needed to do, and i think that we see what happens now. i agree with much of what zbig said. i misjudged putin. as i say he was filled with venom with the united states at the end of the cold war but he isn't a dumb man. he is a smart man.
and i thought after medvedev had his turn that putin would see that he got a lot further with sugar than he was getting with connector and he would change but he hasn't and i think that tells you more about him and that we need to worry. also this about the soviet union and how it's important to remember that in 1991 when the soviet union broke up, crimea and russia broke up the soviet union to take gorbachev's job
away, so that is right in puti putin's sort of determination here and i think that we need to be -- when we talk about sanctions i think we need to be confident, careful, positive but not frantic. >> doctor brzezinski said we should explain how we really feel about ukraine. will he listen in your view or does he already have an agenda? >> i think that we've already had a chance to listen. as i recall the secretary of state for two london just a few days ago and have several hours of talks with the foreign
minister lavrov and produced absolutely nothing. i think that he decided a wigle back his course and he's executed it. this is the first act of annexation. her other words. and i think president putin's perception of the united states and the west and somewhat divided and certainly pivotal to asia and doesn' it doesn't looke such a great idea right now. when i looked down the sanctions list, you know, these are pretty much kind of second level characters. i am not sure there isn't a case
for taking sanctions at this point right up to the very summit, and perhaps look if i recall a conference at 2008 where there was a lot of discussion putting georgia on a track to the nato membership, the russians, putin warned that this would have serious consequences. and as a result of that, we held back. we did not give georgia the so-called map. the three months later despite his concession speech six i am not sure this is a man that listens to concessions. i think what is his language? is language is strength. so unless you respond to his strength is our own form of strength, you end up losing and i think that is a situation that
we are in today. >> what can we really do? >> i think the bottom-line of the answer has to be an large meant. in large of the european union. we cannot take the countries to the european union -- i think that our task was to give putin a sense that there is an option, a better option. that is the first point that was made. they are very worried about what was happening. there were 50,000 people in the regime demonstrating against this. i think that we ought to come they you can have a deal that is reassuring but it's another victory for you. second, we have to consider serious possibilities in view of what he said and i've quoted
that with one important distinction the altercation was premised on the ability of quick deniability if something went wrong and there was a lot of resistance we could say we never attacked. if it goes into ukraine either there is an engagement or there isn't. and i think that we need to talk to them seriously and try to establish the faction or maybe they will tell us or share something with us. are they put their because if they are we should make it even more clear that can have consequences. and i certainly wouldn't tell them to say i've already asked for some military assistance but that we are willing to provide our prepackaged military food
meals which we have told them so far the contribution to the capacity for self defense. i think we should indicate we are not going to be at war. we are not committed to one. but if you resist coming you will certainly gain the sympathy of the west. just as finland did when stalin attacked and that creates pressure to do more and that is something that putin has to consider. can he undertake the war at this stage given the economy which is very bad and still a relatively state of the military if he did this years from now he might be in better shape but right now there's a conflict in that part of europe and something putin would welcome. either the breakup of ukraine and i think that we have to reassure him in a constructive fashion that is not likely because we have interests, to.
>> do you think that the europeans will go along with meaningful sanctions? >> i think they are more likely to now than when the crisis started but i think part of the problem has been because both the u.s. and europeans have been lazy about this whole thing. if they made an offer for a relationship with ukraine. it was a little bit here a little but there mayb bit of the of this and that. so it didn't amount to anything. putin turned around and offered $15 billion. with the united states could have done at that time and i think should have done is to say luck, ukraine's economy is in
terrible shape. let's does the united states, the eu and russia put together a program of assistance to ukraine to start them out and get them going again. i don't know if it would have worked but we are assuming what we have to do is match them by belligerence and that's maybe where we end up but i don't think we have to start there and one other comment, ukraine is a very interesting state. it's not just a country commits three countries were too if you take out crimea now. for those of crimea which is russia for all tactical purposes of the population and a few that have been driven out.
then there's east ukraine roughly half that is primarily of russian expection. there is west ukraine with poland and lithuania and austria. they are very different kinds of solutions here and so in the state ukraine this and that's what is it that you're talking about? and putin has done one thing he hasn't calculated yet there may be some votes or selections around here. he has changed the relative balance of the populations because crimea was russian. so the balance between the two russians are left is much closer. and remember to putin said that
there was a coup against them. >> i don't remember what i was going to say now. but now the government is a government primarily of last ukraine. that's different. and he sees the difference and what he says is used throughout yanukovich and put in your fascist -- >> let me throw this out because it is something that we are seeking a spot of. did this have anything to do with how the united states is not received in the world? >> i think it does to some degree. i think that putin had the perception he could get away with this and it has become a
quaint term for the 20th century. okay you have the polls. that's important and they want the protection for some reason. who knows why. and i think there was a sense not only of that division, that of the united states of a word of retrenchment and the united states after the two painful rules wants to look after its own for a while. and while i don't think there is a direct link it is a matter of concern when the united states and america such a red wine as it did in syria on the issue of chemical weapons and goes all the way up to the response called for by the red wine and
then is seen at the last minute to step back from their i think that sends a message. that registers around the world. it's not something people immediately forget so i'm not saying there's a direct link, but there is a sense of disunity and weakness. and on that basis, the president is a man who, you know, who's psychology understands the wor words, strength, brutality when necessary. i think that gave him a kind of green light. what he did in crimea i covered the war in bosnia and this is exactly what the president did serving the troops. what are you talking about in this attempt to get a road on buses with them from belgrade and still got these guys know.
and the soldiers pointing the machine guns are in camouflage and no insignia. does this have anything to do with how the united states is perceived slight obama? >> up to a point, yes. even right now i'm a little surprised with all that is happening with th the presidentf the united states hasn't spoken to the country about the problem, hasn't put it in a larger context and he gave a brief statement in the white house regarding the sanctions. didn't say much to the american people, so i don't think there is even that much clarity abroad about the decision. >> i want to hear from the general about this.
if you were advising the president. >> i would still make an attempt to see that they are respected in the ukraine and generous and balanced but i would also try to make more certain that they know what they are going to do and they are prepared to do it and if push comes to shove, start indicating rather heavily that will not be in different. and in that subject but does not exaggerate the divisions. there are some russians in ukraine. they are like swiss. they speak german or french. neither one or the other is planning to join france or germany. and look at some of the key people. one of the new hero act figures. do you know he didn't speak much once ago? he spoke mostly just russian.
the great enemy comes from one or the other and she didn't speak much ukrainian when she entered about politics but now of course she speaks ukrainian. this is much more of a nation than we allowed and they were denied their national identity for a long time but since the 19th century started evolving and developing and acquiring the spirit of its own. for example they rejected the notion of kiev and emphasized which they are the defendant but not russia. it was greek orthodox. most people ignore that. russian orthodox and urged. so they are asserting their own
identity and claiming their own history and there is a dispute. but ukraine is not a nation. russia and ukraine are one nation. >> what would you advise right now? >> i think the president ought to offer what he hasn't offered yet which is that we put together a program to see if you could get away from the direction we are going back to where the problem started. and it may be that putin does think we've lost our will. i sort of doubt it, but there are a lot of indications to the
contrary. but i think we need to remember we also have other things going. if there is to be some progress made for example it would certainly be nice if the united states and russia were on the same. they have been basically supportive. that's an important issue, too so it's not as if this is waiting to break up but they haven't been bad everywhere. but if we can pull this out of the fire at least that is the chance to see whether putin and the languages are the way the mind works. >> you have a turkic peace in
the times this week about the parallels of this and world war i and all that. how dangerous is the situation right now? >> it is the centennial and the outbreak of world war i and he tried to secure the liberty and of course the president to putin is trying to revive some form but i am sure there are some younger folks in ukraine that are feeling passionately angry about what has happened and while it is true that there are a few like three ukraine is also true that one was recognized by
president putin in 1994 when ukraine gave up its nuclear weapons and that was formal recognition of the borders that had been trampled upon by president putin. i don't want to be in alarmist and i agree russian help is important so everything has to be calibrated, but this is a change, this is a new ballgame and the situation is combustible if president putin chooses to go any further and potentially in the states where feelings run very high about being ruled from moscow and i know vice president
>> did snowed don't -- snowden supply the russians with some kind of intelligence that -- >> come preised us some way. >> there is no way of answering that without knowing what he has given to the russians. i don't know what he has. >> [inaudible] >> more than one country. but, i don't think we know what he has and we don't know what he has given to the russians. >> okay. right here. >> thank you.
back to what you were saying a moment ago in terms of this being a game-changer. certainly packs american can that has been the -- pax americana, has been the fundamental principle is sanctity of borders. now this principle has been blown away. for reasons all of you gentlemen have explained, quite well. the history, complexity, old soviet union, russian empire, ukraine, we understand. and we certainly understand we can have sympathy on the fact that most of the crimians are russian, ethnic russians, however as you pointed out there was a treaty, sanctioned and the treaty of budapest i believe it is which the united states, great britain and russia guaranteed the ukrainian borders. now this principle has been blown away. i think president obama is trying to say, wait a minute, we can no do this and you can not get away with it.
what, and you have explained we don't really have that many options but if this principle of sanctity of borders which is at the foundation of peace in europe is blown away, then what? what will the united states be able to do to repair this? because now we are, most likely going to allow this to happen because there is not going to be any going back i believe. in other words, putin is not going to give back crimea to the ukraine. then the principle of sanctity of borders has been infringed. is that an issue of great consequence? or we can just let this go? thank you. >> i don't think it is an issue of that great a consequence, we didn't think so either with respect to kosovo. which is, similar sort of action. as a matter of fact we used force to try to make it happen. so i don't think that's fundamental issue.
>> dr. brzezinski. >> i think it is not a fundamental issue but agree with brent, for one reason, ukrainians didn't resist in crimea. maybe they could but they didn't. that makes it very different because there was kind of complacency or accommodation on their part. i'm concerned the issue could become much graver especially with what putin is saying there will be a challenge to the integrity and independence of ukraine. >> that would be very different. >> that would be very different. >> the lady in the back. >> thank thank you. voice of america. my question is really simple and short. how safe might georgia be in this given situation and new development? can we expect russia's father expansion, military to the south? thank you. >> i couldn't hear that. >> would you identify yourself
again and where are your children. >> voice of america. georgian service. thank you. >> very difficult for us to, the sound is a little muffled. >> voice of america. >> no who she is. what was the question? maybe if you come up here, i'm sorry to ask you to do this but it is very difficult back here. >> thank you. again. maya kay, voice of america, georgian service. my question is can we expect russia's farther military expansion toward georgia? how safe might georgia be? >> did everybody get that? >> thank you. >> the question is how safe should georgia feel. i think the fact is having talked to a couple of georgians who attended our conference, georgians do not feel safe. they do not feel the least bit
safe. in fact they feel threatened and of course those kind of feelings, whether they're rational or irrational, doesn't particularly come into it. if you're afraid, you're afraid and when you already lost 20% of your territory as georgia has, and you see what just happened in crimea, and you see both the e.u. and nato basically slamming on the brakes when anybody ever mentions any notion of georgia coming into either the e.u. or nato, then, you think, well, what's our future here? you know, we've got president putin up there eyeing us and to the west, which is the direction he wants to go in we don't see much receptiveness. i think that is a very disturbing situation for georgia. i don't expect president putin to move on georgia today, tomorrow, or this year.
but, that possibility is there and he knows it's there. that's the way, that is the way he wants it to be. and to come back to your question,, i do think it is a serious, a serious change. kosovo was not annexed. kosovo, which is 90 plus percent ethnically albanian became independent after a, a bloody war across the former yugoslavia that went on for a decade this is not the place to go into all that but i don't think it's a precise parallel and absolutely, i'm sure many of you read president putin's long piece in my newspaper at the time. syrian conflict when he was saying the only thing we have between the world and the abyss is the rule of law, the sanctity of borders, the centrality of the u.n., security council,
international law is the only basis on which to conduct human affairs. i mean orwellian doesn't begin to describe it. >> doyle? >> thank you, doyle mcunanimous from "the los angeles times." i would like to sharpen the question of what the united states should be prepared to do if the government of ukraine says, it's prepared to resist russian incursion further russian incursion into its territory in the east and south. it seems to me there is a bit of a chicken and egg problem here. their decision of what they're prepared to today may depend on their understanding of how much support they may have. now dr. brings since ski you suggested that mre's don't seem quite enough. it is well-known menu we could provide intelligence support. we can provide advisors and training. we can provide non-lethal
equipment. we can provide lethal equipment. we can provide air cover. i have given you the escalation you already know. where should we be and what should we be offering? >> i think in any case we should engage in contingency planning for all of that in different proportions depending on the circumstance bus we should couple that with serious communications to the russians we would like an alternative outcome which we could be partners and also a reaffirmmation if the ukraine resists they will not be alone. we will not tell the russians in advance exactly what we'll do. we may discuss some aspects of it with the ukrainians but the pudding is also in the ukrainians. they have to demonstrate they really value their territorial integrity and are prepared to make sacrifices to protect it. i think the russians, the way they operated in crimea as i said before, where we're operatings on contingent basis. if there's a lot of resistance
we pull back. the same may very well happen in the case of ukraine as well, particularly in those districts which there are some russian people living and who are demonstrating and so forth. so the ukrainians themselves, first of all have to take some clear positions regarding what they intend to do with some degree of credibility. otherwise, if we don't do it, then i think we really are on the path towards grievous instability in europe and also that spilling over into georgia, azerbaijan. russians have scores to settle with azerbaijan and other areas certainly. riga a large russian population, could be object of sudden explosions of popular hatred and conflicts. i mean you open up all sorts of gates. our job is to reduce the scope and certainty by commitment and clarity and willing to
compromise on intelligent level. but that also means the president has to take a visible position and speak seriously that the american people, about the problem that we confront, that we and our allies confront jointly and this is, mrs. merkel's speech i think is mopeful indication that more and more important europeans are beginning to realize we're in this together. holland, even though he has personal distractions has spoken strongly on this subject, which, you know, given his busy schedule -- [laughter] >> anybody else want to talk about that? back there, the lady. >> thank you, reporter from the voice of america chinese news service. i have a question here for all the panelists. so are you concerned that if e.u. and u.s. fail to take effective america sure on russia will china be encouraged to do
the same thing in its neighborhood? and the second, whether the u.s. balance towards asia will sufficienter from the crimea crisis, thank you. >> if i heard it all, i'll start off. i think the chinese sympathies probably lie more with the russians on this but i don't think they will enter because they're neuralgic on territories shifted around them and so on, a la tibet. so i don't think you will find the chinese standing up and shouting at the russians on that one. >> anyone else want to --, roger, you want to add to this? >> in terms of the second part of your question, it is been hard to understand what exactly pivot to asia meant t was a
phrase and it is floated out there and there have been meetings about it and it is not all together clear to me at least what it's meant but i think what president putin has presented the west with, a strong case for looking again at the transatlantic alliance, looking again at defense budgets. looking again at the fact that the european neighborhood is not so safe and secure that we can simply transfer our attention elsewhere. i think china has a very ambivalent response to what has happened. it doesn't like borders changing. on the other hand, well, it abstained at the u.n. that is an indication of this ambivalent feeling. i don't expect any, although i threw it into my scenario of world war iii, i don't expect a some sudden chinese move on
taiwan or something like that, no. >> all right. right down here, yes, sir, in the second row. >> thank you. from iiss. there is another country which has a common border with an e.u. member and with a nato member and which has an agreement with the e.u. and that's moldova. moldova also has its own crimea which is now asking russia to become part of the russian federation. and there is a game which is beginning now between russia and moldova to get moldova to go to the eurasian agreement in exchange of trsnsmry to not be a part of russia. what should we do now to prevent from that particular domino from
falling? if it does, you will have a problem for russia of territorial continuity between russian transnstria and russian crimea and that happens to be the southern border lands of ukraine? you may not have tile to prepare the package of measures which you told us about earlier on. what should we be doing now? if i may just one remark. on the leverage which we may think russia has vis-a-vis us on iran and syria. i remember, brent remembers, during the cold war we were able to cooperate with the soviet union on issues of chemical and nuclear proliferation and that is not going to stop simply because we're going have a big problem with russia otherwise. russia has permanent interests. it is doing what it is doing on iran not because it wants to be kind with us.
if we get into a new cold war it will not stop russia from coin continuing to talk with us on iran. >> i agree with you on the iran aspect. as far as moldova concerned, there is one key factor involved here, geography if i have. if ukraine doesn't go the wrong way, the russians will not be able to pull that off. and if necessary, we and the ukrainians can deal with it. if ukraine falters, problem is of course moldova. but of course the bigger problem is ukraine itself. that is why the that is the key strategic issue right now. how will ukraine play it. how will the russians play it. what can we do to influence a positive attitude on the part of the russians. what can we do to be clear-cut in our relationship with the you cranes. -- ukrainians. >> right there. >> my question is to
mr. brzezinski. what is your opinion of the neo-nazi factor in ukraine? if powerful or manageable or just russian propaganda and -- western democracy types? >> there are neo-nazis in ukraine. they're very, very minor group. very similar in that respect to some neo-nazis in russia to seem to be a more visible actually and who even have a very prominent philosopher supporting them and instructing on that basis. mr. putin as to what his vision of the world ought to be. i think you know what i'm referring to. >> all right. we haven't called on anybody on this side over here just because, right there. look to your right. >> i'm mark sible, with mcklatschchy newspapers. i have two quick questions.
i'm wondering that putin moved into crimea because some people say we should have realized it all along and others say of course we were surprised. i'm curious what your personal situation was. and then there's been a clot of discussion about nato and how this brings nato around to having a purpose. and i'm curious whether you think the initial response on behalf of nato and. united states sending a half dozen planes to poland that sort of thing, if that is muscular enough to make an impression? >> roger, why don't we start with you. >> well, i was, i was not surprised in the endgame if you like. i, i think the germans have very good antenna in russia and i spoke to a senior guy at the foreign ministry there about, i guess two weeks before the annexation and, yeah, he is a fairly prudent guy. and he said, you know, our
impression and stein meyer the foreign minister has been to moscow and his impression was he is going to go all the way. i don't think we can stop him. and i was surprised then. i said, really? and then i saw, you know, these moves that reminded me very much of belgrade and what i had witnessed in bosnia. of course no parallel is exact. so i was not, i was not surprised right at the end. in terms of the same question was about what nato, the nato response. president obama is about to go to europe. he is going to brussels i believe for the first time very soon, this month. and the one thing i would say i think it is absolutely critical that there be a, this trip be well-prepared and there be a strong, united, vigorous
statement about, about what has, about what has occurred and, there was a mention, i think, in president obama's statement to article v of the nato treaties but it came well down the list. i think it could have been higher up the list just as i think the people sanctioned could have been of a more significant level. >> bob, to you too, were you surprised? >> i was surprised. i was how surprised how efficiently and essentially non-violent the russians were able to pull it off. it was a well-run population and well-planned with all possibilities of disengagement if need be i was surprised ukrainians there did not offer some resistance. >> could is we, should we have known about this. >> if we paid attention, yes. but we weren't paying attention. you know, ukraine has had
several elections. they have gone to the western part. they have gone to the eastern part. tymoshenko put in jail by yanukovych. so this has been a troubled country for a long, long time. but it was a back water and we had this little surge about ukraine and nato for a time. but, no, we have not paid attention to it and i think we probably could have avoided it, had we been on top of the problem when it first started with the ukrainians and the e.u. >> well, i'm sorry to say, we have come to the end of our program but before you go, we have one other thing we want to take note of. today is general scowcroft's birthday. [applause]
you will have to blow out the candles. yea. cake for everyone. [applause] >> i'm sorry, i don't do birthdays anymore. >> well there is cake for everybody here. it will be behind you as you leave. so thank you all for coming and thanks for, from tcu and tsi. >> president obama is heading to orlando, florida, today to give a speech about women in the
economy. his comments will be at valencia college at 2:30 eastern today. robert ford will be a the woodrow wilson center at four p.m. on c-span. >> today's young adults, so-called millenial generation who are having a lot of trouble getting started in life because they have come of age in very hostile economy, they are paying money into a system to support a level of benefits for today's retirees they have no realistic chance of getting when they themselves retire. so there needs to be a rebalancing of the social compact. it's a very important challenge. it's a very difficult challenge for this country politically, because not only is social security around medicare, half of our budget or about to become half of our budget, it is by far the biggest thing we do, but it is symbolically the
purest statement in public policy that as a country we are a community, all in this together. these are, these are programs that affect everybody and the old math of these programs doesn't work. >> paul taylor on the looming generational showdown, saturday night at 10:00 eastern and sunday at nguyen 9:00 on booktv's after the words. in a few weeks your chance to talk to military strategist and former assistance defense secretary, bing west. he will take your calls, comments, emails and tweets on the middle east, iraq and afghanistan, live from noon to 3:00 eastern "in depth." also this month join the online of peneil joseph's new biography of stokely carmichael. look for the book club tab at booktv.org.
>> an estimated 150,000 people have died in syria since the start of protests against bashir al-assad's government three years ago. coming up a next a negotiator with syria's opposition talks about the conflict. it features former u.s. diplomat james hopper who called on the obama administration to arm the opposition an conduct airstrikes. >> we know, i mean, freedom doesn't come free of charge. we are facing the most brutal regime in syria, a region game with experience of 30 years managing civil war in lebanon, 15 years managing terrorism
activities in iraq. we are facing this regime which is armed to the teeth with allies backing him 100% with weapons, money and even militias and manpower on the ground. while for us we are fortunate to have our own people who are ready to sacrifice their lives and to sacrifice the lives of their families and to give all what they can give to the success of the revolution. while our allies it is very clear to you, all of you, have limitations of support to us. so this support has limits in armed supplies, limit on political front and really, this
is hurting the syrian people in the first place. we can not say that the mistake lies on the allies only but also part of the failure was due to us as syrian people also. we have been used to this regime for 50 years. we never had democracy in syria for 50 years. we never had real tries of revolutions before and actually people went to the street with their own, you know, lives to put for their freedom and the regime was not hesitant to use extreme violence against the people. this made the journey, a long journey and painful journmy but now we're celebrating the third year of revolution. meaning the people of syria has
made their decision to continue the struggle until they win back their freedom. our duty now is to look back at the first three years and where do we make mistakes? what went wrong? how can we improve the situation? pinpoint the problems and say, yes, we have problems. these are the problems and this is what we have to do in order to solve them. for the first almost two years of the revolution we had no political path, no political outlook for the revolution itself. on the military side we have factions. we have people carrying arms, defending their own houses, their own towns but we did not have any strategic plan. for our allies, they were dealing with factions. they never dealt with coalition
or with the free syrian army as one unit. they go give help to this guy and this guy and so on. so all these resulted in weakness of the performance of the revolution itself. since six months ago we sat down and we realized ways that we make mistakes. where should we go? how we can reorganize. and we took the steps and into correcting things and putting things in or theorder, and we started, many of you thought many things as bad things if you look at it previously. but down the road you will see things will improve. as you know there were many changes on the political field. many changes in the military side also. some of you recently have seen
it. you have seen new military leadership coming to the front to thaek their position and carry from the previous military leadership. you saw a decision was made going to geneva which was not a easy decision which we had to discuss and fight for it and convince our friends in the coalition to go alongwith it. we respected the decision of a few of our friend within the coalition to resign temporarily as they stated. down the road when they saw we did the right decision, is theirtheir duty to come back and join to us work together. so we're doing our best now to correct our own path with our politically, military side and same way to have a better command-and-control on the military field. this we need it as syrian and we need